Creatures, Myths & Legends
Mysteries revisited: the strange case of the 1996 Churston Bigfoot
By T.K. Randall
October 14, 2022 · 11 comments
Could the quiet rural woods of southern England hide a mystery cryptid ? Image Credit: Pixabay / jplenio
26 years ago, a spate of strange sightings befell an otherwise idyllic area of woodland in south-west England.
Stories of large bipedal hominids frequenting the remote forests of North America are nothing new, but what most people don't know is that there have been similar sightings in what is perhaps the unlikeliest of places - Torbay - a quiet and uneventful borough of Devon, England.
In 1996, a spate of peculiar sightings began to emerge in and around the Churston Woods between Paignton and Torquay, leading to the dubbing of the 'Churston Bigfoot' by the press.
The creature, which was spotted multiple times, was generally described as being around 5ft tall (a small size relative to its North American counterpart), with brown hair covering its body and - in an even more peculiar twist - a face exhibiting a distinctive green tinge.
It wasn't long before research organizations such as the Center for Fortean Zoology had started to look into the phenomenon, with director Jon Downes commenting that "this one is a real cracker because it has so much separate and credible corroboration to it."
The group's members even undertook field research to look for evidence of the creature.
"Our search in the area brought up nothing of interest unfortunately," they wrote. "We found no evidence of tree structures, branch snapping or footprint evidence."
Overall, around 15 witnesses came forward over a six-week period, but nobody was ever able to definitively explain what the creature was or why it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
Given that some of the reports had described seeing the animal swinging from tree branches, however, it seems that perhaps the most likely explanation was that it was some sort of monkey that had escaped from a zoo or private collector.
Ultimately, though, we will probably never know for sure.
Source: Devon Live
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